Wearing SPF In Autumn Is More Essential Than Those Clouds Mights Let On

Drew Schrimsher/Stocksy

Summer has sadly passed, and for many, this will be a time of mourning as the sun begins to creep back behind the clouds and a noticeable chill approaches. A lot of us may think that because the sun is no longer out every day, all day and shining bright, we no longer have to protect our skin from it using SPF. However, you may have heard this is untrue, and might be wondering, "Do I still need to wear suncream in Autumn?" While October 2019 looks set to be rainy and a bit of a wash out, the truth is your skin still needs protection.

Let's first discuss the fact that up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can pass through clouds. That means that even when the weather outside is looking incredibly dull, those damaging rays can still reach the skin, and penetrate to cause damage.

Even more alarmingly, it's quite possible that UV rays can penetrate through glass, meaning you're not safe inside or driving your car. "Glass effectively blocks UVB (the UV rays that cause sunburn), but about 75% of UVA penetrates glass," says facialist and skincare expert Lisa Franklin. "UVA rays are the UV wavelength that lead to skin damage, ageing and can eventually lead to cancer. So, while you won’t get sunburn through glass, our skin is still very susceptible to damage."

The reason we should really pay attention to this news is because the seasons do not affect the strength of UVA rays. While UVB rays weaken at certain duller, colder times of the year, UVA is just as strong in the winter as it is in the summer, so you always need to be wearing protection.

As well as the inside threat of glass penetration, blue light from our phones can also be a very real threat, and one that may require the use of SPF on our skin for protection. All of my clients are now seeing skin concerns that have arisen from too much screen time," says Lisa. "Research behind this is now becoming more available, and several studies now show that skin exposed to blue light suffers from biological alterations."

In short, it is absolutely necessary to wear SPF in the autumn and winter. In fact, Lisa believes that "if it’s light enough to see, then wear SPF!"

Although we should always be wearing SPF, it is fair to want to switch up the type of suncream you wear this time of year. While in the summer we tend to wear less makeup or go barefaced on the beach, in the colder months we are back at work, often using makeup and therefore in need of lightweight formulas that won't affect the longevity of our other products. I have selected five amazing SPFs that are great for winter wear: